Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Library Tour: Erna Fergusson Branch

This painting of Ron Weasley in the children's area is by an ABC Libraries staff member.

To paraphrase the Cars, "It's magic when you're at Erna Fergusson Library."  Or at least that's what I thought when I visited this branch.  Erna Fergusson was my first branch library when I moved to Albuquerque back in 1992, but the new building is something else! Cherry/See/Reames Architects, who redesigned the library back in 2003 & won a merit award from Albuquerque American Institute of Architects in 2005, say "the new design almost doubled the size of the original building and changed the location of the front door, providing better pedestrian access for both facilities. The tower helps patrons locate the library on the busy street. The new space has high ceilings and clerestories to provide natural lighting to the new volumes. Triangular light monitors were added to the original low ceiling space to bring in more daylight there." I was just amazed that, for one of the city's larger branches on a busy thoroughfare, the building was peaceful inside & many of the windows featured tranquil views of the lush green landscaping.

Erna Fergusson Library is located at 3700 San Mateo NE, on the east side of San Mateo Blvd  between Comanche Road  and Montgomery Blvd -for directions by car or bus, visit the library website. The library has 19 public computers including 2 express and one children's. Erna Fergusson also offers many of the standard amenities of the ABC Libraries' branches: fax service; voter registration forms, None for the Road DVDs, & bus schedules are all available, but the branch does not have a magazine swap. There is a bin in the lobby for you to drop off donations to Roadrunner Food Bank. Erna Fergusson does have a community room & a study room (soon to be two) for public use. It's the only branch where you can return materials easily via the drive-up book drop, located near the northeast corner of the building!

The library is one of the three in the system to be named after literary New Mexicans.  To learn more about Erna Fergusson, visit the New Mexico Office of the State Historian.  You can also find works by & about her in the library catalog, by subject & author search.

Inside the library, there are a lot of comfy chairs & cosy nooks for you to get settled into!  The high ceilings & windows gave it an almost meditative air in the early morning when I visited.

Now that our Summer Reading Program, "One World, Many Stories/Un Mundo, Muchas Historias", has begun, there are even more fun things to do when you visit Erna Fergusson ("The Grand Duchy of Fergilund" on your Summer Reading passport). The Erna Fergusson webpage has separate sections for events for babies & preschoolers, kids, teens, & adults. I am particularly smitten with programs like "Ballroom Babies", a Music & Movement class for babies up through 6 year olds; the drop-in 2nd Saturday Crafts for kids of all ages; Poetry Around the World, a free writing class for ages 10 - 18 (registration required); & the Sunday Stitching Society. & those are just their regular events! During Summer Reading, watch for programs on ikebana, fantasy miniature painting, Balinese dance, & more!

Of course, no visitor to Erna Fergusson can fail to mention the Alphabet Soup cascade & cairn, as well as the concrete & asphalt Alphabet Soup, which are completely delightful! This 1% for Art piece was created by artist Pete Beeman.

If you choose to make a stop at the Erna Fergusson Library during your summer peregrinations, you will not be at a loss for things to do in the area! The Palo Duro Senior Center & Montgomery Pool are right next door; Montgomery Park is nearby, featuring benches, sports fields, playground, & trails; one of my favorite Thai restaurants, Siam Cafe, is up the street a ways, or, if it's earlier in the day, the always yummy Wolfe's Bagels is at Montgomery & San Pedro.

As a library employee, I appreciate a good display!  This is a display of blue books, handy for folks who don't remember the title as well as they remember the color of the cover.  I know we've all had that problem at one time or another!

No comments: